Searchable abstracts of presentations at key conferences in endocrinology
Endocrine Abstracts (2008) 15 P282

SFEBES2008 Poster Presentations Reproduction (22 abstracts)

A randomised clinical trial of the effects of spearmint herbal tea on hirsutism in females with polycystic ovarian syndrome

Paul Grant


Eastbourne District General Hospital, Eastbourne, France.

Background: Hirsutism carries with it significant cosmetic and psycho-social issues. Recent research has shown that various spearmint herbal tea preparations have anti-androgenic properties.

What is not known are the specific biochemical reductions in androgen levels and also more importantly, the clinical effects – judged both subjectively and objectively – of the use of spearmint tea for patients with Hirsutism due to PCOS (REC approved).

Objectives: We wished to assess the changes in free androgen levels and clinical rating scores of patients with established Hirsutism, in patients taking spearmint herbal tea for a prolonged time period.

Methods: The study population consisted of females with PCOS and hirsutism with documented levels of elevated androgen hormone levels, who were non-responsive to, or poorly tolerant of existing medical therapy. Patients were randomised to two groups. The first were asked to drink two cups of spearmint tea for a period of 30 days. The second group were given a placebo tea. At the beginning and end of the trial period all patients had their serum androgens checked, their clinical degree of hirsutism was assessed using the Ferriman-Galway score (FG) and the patients were given a questionnaire regarding their hirsutism (dermatology quality of life index – DLQI).

Results: The spearmint tea group showed a significant decrease in their plasma levels of androgens over the trial period (P<0.05) and a significant improvement in their DLQI scores, compared with the placebo group. However the decrease in FG scores (the objective clinical measure) were below the level of significance.

Conclusions: Our research trial demonstrates that the use of spearmint herbal tea has significant measurable anti-androgen effects in patients with hirsutism due to PCOS. We predict that had the patients continued with the treatment for a longer period of time then the reductions in androgen hormone levels would have translated into improvements in the Ferriman-Galway objective ratings of hirsutism as suggested by improvements in the DLQI scores.

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